My 9-year-old daughter; Alyx, along with the rest of her grade, was asked to perform an oral on a Hero or a Heroine. Out of interest, I asked the Grade Head to make a note of the number girls that selected a heroine to talk about. Can you believe that only 45% of the girls in the grade chose to talk about a heroine? In fact, the Grade Head said that many of the girls spoke on their Dads as being their hero. While this is a noble hero to do an oral on, I was astounded to think that this probably meant that their moms, who normally assist with homework (and dare I say the whole upkeep and running of the home), assisted them with the oral about their Dads.
Why is it that their moms didn’t make the heroine list? Is it because we have, as a society, downgraded the female species with saying things like:
- You run like a girl
- You fight like a girl
- You cry like a girl
- You act like a girl
When did it become such an insult to be a girl? Are we raising our children with the mindset that women are not as worthy as men?
I am offended by these phrases and questions. Having run the comrades twice, let me tell you that if I ‘ran like a girl’ I wouldn’t have finished, nor would I have had the resolve to finish, because ‘I am but a girl’. Similarly, if I ‘fought like a girl’ my business wouldn’t be as successful as it is.
Are we going to perpetuate this thinking by passing these phrases onto our daughters, nieces, granddaughters?
Is this type of thinking that we are passing onto the next generation, the kind that is going to change the world?
I do not think so. Our children need to know that we respect them for who they are and to not make the female gender seem inferior.
Our boys need to learn to respect their female peers. Our girls need to know they are good enough to do anything. None of us should accept phrases like “who wears the pants in your home”, as the leader could be wearing a dress! The world needs to start promoting more heroine’s that girls can choose to do orals on.
This women’s month, I would like to encourage parents, teachers, leaders, society, to be mindful of the way we talk and to stop making girls/women seem inferior in the eyes of our children, but to rather make them realise that their gender does not exclude them from being the heroine in the story.
I dedicate this blog to my Daughter; Alyx (name meaning: to defend humankind) who must proudly live and succeed #likeagirl